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Dreamweaver MX: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Chapter 3. Text Formatting

Getting text onto a Web page (Chapter 2) is a good start, but effective communication requires effective design, too. Large, bold headlines help readers scan a page’s important topics. Colorful text focuses attention. Bulleted sentences crystallize and summarize ideas. Just as a monotonous, low-key voice puts a crowd to sleep, a vast desert of plain HTML text is sure to turn visitors away from the important message of your site. In fact, text formatting could be the key to making your Widgets Online 2003 Sale-a-thon a resounding success instead of an unnoticed disaster.

To help you get your point across, Dreamweaver provides the tools you need to format your text in compelling and eye-catching ways (see Figure 3-1 for examples of good and bad text formatting).

Both of these pages use different fonts, colors, and sizes to display text, but the one at bottom uses a consistent arrangement of styles to organize the text and guide the reader through the page. Notice how the headline “Do We Really Need New Domains?” with its larger type size draws your eye to it immediately. Below that, the supplementary articles and their summaries are easy to identify and read. In the page at top, by contrast, the largest type element, “Main Menu,” sits in the middle of a scattered, randomly formatted sea of text.

Figure 3-1. Both of these pages use different fonts, colors, and sizes to display text, but the one at bottom uses a consistent arrangement of styles to organize the text and guide the reader through the page. Notice how the headline “Do We Really Need New Domains?” with its larger type size draws your eye to it immediately. Below that, the supplementary articles and their summaries are easy to identify and read. In the page at top, by contrast, the largest type element, “Main Menu,” sits in the middle of a scattered, randomly formatted sea of text.

Paragraph Formatting

Just as you use paragraphs to ...

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